Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Thursday marks the day when the Supreme Court of the United States is expected to make a decision on the constitutionality of Obamacare.
No modern piece of legislation has received as much attention – and rightfully so. The most pressing question before the court is whether Congress has the right to compel you to purchase a product or service and punish you for non-compliance. This “individual mandate” will set precedent on future legislation for years to come.
2012, being an Election year, will present voters with choices. In making those choices, no piece of legislation better demonstrates a candidate’s view on government intrusion into your personal life than this one. There really is no greater modern test of a candidate’s willingness to use their office to dictate your behavior. It is also good to see where candidates stand on this issue before the high court rules, so you can measure their philosophy and courage to advocate for their beliefs.
In the PA Attorney General race, Democrat Kathleen Kane supports it, Republican Dave Freed opposes it. The Attorney General only becomes relevant to the conversation in that Pennsylvania entered into one of the many lawsuits opposing Obamacare. Kathleen Kane has said she would withdraw Pennsylvania from the suit on her first day in office, Freed would continue to oppose it by continuing the suit. This measure of support or opposition doesn’t speak to the legislation itself, but it is rather illustrative of their ability to interpret the U.S. Constitution and their philosophy on civil liberties.
In Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, Democrat Phil Scollo doesn’t seem to have taken a position (that we can find.) Republican Tom Marino is opposed to it.
In the 11th District, Democrat Gene Stilp refused to say if he would have voted for it, Republican Lou Barletta has been vocally opposed to it.
So there you have it. The Republicans are particularly united in their opposition to Obamacare. The Democrats either support it, fail to show leadership on the issue by stating their position clearly (on their website, for example), or demonstrate cowardice by refusing to state their position on it.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
On Thursday, the House is scheduled to vote on whether or not Attorney General Eric Holder should be held in contempt for failing to provide documents to Congress related to Operation Fast and Furious, an Obama-administration program which not only left Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry dead, but also left a body count in the hundreds across the Mexican border.
The White House exerted executive privilege over the documents (at the request of AG Holder) to shield them from the House and eventually, the public.
Executive privilege can be exerted over deliberative documents within the Executive Branch of government. Doing so however, provides a tacit acknowledgement that the White House was involved in the deliberation of some facet of the operation, which has been denied. In the absence of such deliberation, the exertion of executive privilege would be invalid.
Like the economy, the White House would prefer to forget about Fast and Furious. It is so far from their mind, they couldn't even remember the name of Brian Terry - the Border Patrol Agent killed with a Fast and Furious gun:
If AG Holder refuses to provide the requested documents, his richly-deserved contempt should be confirmed by a vote of the House on Thursday.
Monday, June 4, 2012
From the Luzerne County Republican Committee Statement on the Election of Steve Smith
For immediate release.
Contact: Terry Casey
WILKES BARRE, PA – The election of Steven Smith to the Republican Committee of Luzerne County (LCRC) has received media coverage in the last few days. We are grateful to the Anti-Defamation League and other media outlets for bringing to our attention the racially charged and disturbing background of this man from Pittston. We unequivocally denounce Mr. Smith and his abhorrent views and would like to make it clear that in no way do his personal views reflect the views of the Republican Party.
Mr. Smith was elected as one of two Republican Committeemen from Pittston City Ward 4. He was elected with only one write-in vote – a vote that was most likely his own. The other two write-in votes cast in this ward went to Mr. George Carmean, a long-time committee member of the LCRC.
Pennsylvania State election code allows any registered Republican or Democrat to write their name in to become a member of the County Committee. The Bylaws of the Luzerne County Republican Committee indicate that the only qualification for election to the County Committee be that one has been a registered Republican for the two years preceding their election. There is no other eligibility requirement in this regard. Also, there is no express provision in the bylaws of the LCRC that would authorize the Executive Committee or the District Committee to “expel” a member of the Committee for his or her “beliefs.”
The Luzerne County Republican Committee does not endorse or represent any of the hateful views of Mr. Smith, nor did any of the voters in Pittston City or Luzerne County. The efforts of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and its affiliated media organizations to portray anything otherwise are incredibly disingenuous, shameful, and insulting to all residents of Luzerne County. Their efforts, however, are indicative of the underhandedness in which they are willing to engage to advance their hypocrisy and political aims.
Mr. Smith elected himself to the LCRC with one vote. For media outlets like “Think Progress” or others to suggest that the people of Pittston, let alone the voters of Luzerne County, support this man in any significant number is shameful and insulting to all of the residents of Pittston and Northeast Pennsylvania, Democrat or Republican. In an ill-researched post on ThinkProgress.org, Adam Peck wrote that, “Smith is also an active member of local Tea Party groups, a network that he used to gain support for his bid for the committee seat.” This claim is blatantly false. Smith has been banned from the NEPA Tea Party Facebook page and has not been welcome at their meetings. Peck’s suggestion that Smith used the Tea Party network to gain support for his committee election would be laughable if this were not such a serious accusation. This “story” is indicative of the underhanded, self-serving tactics used by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and a happily complicit media, and illustrates the deep hypocrisy and lies they are willing to engage in for the basest political purposes.
The Republican Party has a long and proud history of supporting and promoting Civil Rights for all Americans and any racially intolerant views are unequivocally not welcome in the County, State or National Republican Parties. The nation’s first abolitionists were Republicans, no one fought harder for the abolition of slavery than Republican President Abraham Lincoln, The first African-American to run for President was Republican Frederick Douglas, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 would not have been passed without the support of Republican Senators from the Northeast, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was made a National Holiday by Republican President Ronald Reagan. The issue at this time, however, is not the Civil Rights credentials of the Republican Party. The issue at this time is the hypocrisy of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.
We sincerely regret the efforts of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to create a political football out of an issue that both Democrats and Republicans should be anxiously ready to agree upon. In fact, the Luzerne County Democratic Party has joined with the LCRC to denounce Mr. Smith and his involvement, stating that, “Steve Smith obviously does not represent the Luzerne County Republican Party in any way, shape, or form.” We applaud the efforts of the Luzerne County Democratic Committee to join us in not only denouncing Mr. Smith, but to return political discourse to focusing on key issues at hand, like creating jobs and fixing our economy. We encourage the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to do the same.